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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 7 (October 2, 1939)

Spring in the House

Spring in the House.

Walls and Ceilings.—You may have just moved into a house or flat where woodwork and wallpapers are at the half-way stage to shabbiness or where the last tenant's colour-scheme makes you feel slightly bilious. Or perhaps you merely want to re-do the livingroom, now that dirty coal-fires are nearly finished with for the season.

In any case, stand and look with a dispassionate eye at the room you wish to make over. What is wrong with it? Smallness, low ceiling, drabness, poor outlook? Mentally list its bad points and then run through the following cures:—

Light tints—cream, light yellow or light buff—will make a small room seem larger. Paint the picture-rail and the skirting-board the same colour as the wall surface in order to extend the apparent area of that surface. Don't forget the size-increasing value of mirrors.

If the ceiling is low, carry the wall colour over the cornice. Have the ceiling the same colour as the walls, but in a lighter shade. Where the ceiling is too high, as in some old houses, bring the ceiling colour down to the picturerail. White is not the best colour for a ceiling. It needs a slight tinge of pink, buff or brown.

Aspect is very important. A sunny room can have soft greys, greens or blues included in its colour scheme, but these cool tones must be avoided in a room facing south. The south room must have artificial sunlight introduced in the shade range of cream, yellow, buff, tan. A tinge of pink in any of these colourings is an advantage.

The room with a poor outlook (e.g., on to a wall a few feet distant) is to be treated as a south room. All possible light must be permitted to enter, but the “view” must not be drawn attention to. Transparent glass curtains in a “sunshine” tone hide what is without, but give the effect of letting in the outdoors.

For the small house, it is well to relate the wall-papers. Decide on a foundation shade, e.g., buff, and select pinky-buff, yellowy-buff, tawny-buff, as required for the various rooms.